Why Do Fleas Bite Some People and Not Others?

Fleas are tiny pests typically associated with household pets, but also a nuisance for humans. You don’t just have to own a dog or cat to have a chance at being bitten by fleas!

It’s rare to be bitten, but it happens. What’s weird is that sometimes, one person gets covered in bites, but other members of the household don’t! 

Why do fleas bite some people and not others?

The truth is that fleas bite everyone, but some people don’t have a reaction to the bites, so they don’t know they’ve been bitten. Others have significant reactions.

Here are the basics:

  • Fleas are attracted to chemical makeup and bodily scents of the skin found in some people.
  • Some people don’t react to bites, so they don’t realize they have been bitten.
  • Fleas have favorite scents they are attracted to, which can cause you to be bitten if you possess them.

Though science has yet to explain such an occurrence, many logical explanations have been proposed to explain why people are more likely to get bitten by fleas than others. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.

Why Do Fleas Bite Some People and Not Others?


Individuals with genetic predispositions to flea bites seem more sensitive to them than others. Fleas near you may bite you, even if their primary target is your pet. Histamine levels and pain thresholds that produce swollen, red bumps on the skin vary from person to person.

Some people react to these bites, while others do not. You might think fleas are targeting you when you have a bad reaction, particularly when your partner or family isn’t having the same reaction.

You might think fleas are targeting you when you have a bad reaction, particularly when your partner or family isn’t having the same reaction.

Chemistry of the Skin and Smells in the Body

One of the most common hypotheses that most people subscribe to is that there are individual differences in chemical composition between humans. As a result, each individual’s genes determine how the skin reacts and how much gas is released. Carbon dioxide production may vary according to skin type reactions, providing an attractive food source for parasites, including fleas and bed bugs, which consume animal and human blood.

Along with their chemical composition, some believe fleas prefer certain smells over others. Therefore, they might prefer one individual over another due to the scent their bodies emit, the sweat they produce, or the medications they consume. 

Even products they use on their skin, such as lotions, deodorants, and perfumes may possibly have an impact. And of course, some people sweat more than others, which can attract fleas, especially as some sweat can smell sweeter than others.

An Increased Risk of Flea Exposure

Cats and dogs are more likely to catch fleas than humans. In addition, there are specific elements of your house that are more prone to attracting fleas.

Fleas often live in long grass in the yard, and will be more likely to hitch a ride on your pet if Fido and Fluffy are running through long grass. Increase your lawn’s mowing frequency to help keep fleas under control (ticks, too!)

Furniture and carpets can be breeding grounds for fleas, where they will multiply quickly. As they multiply, they will need to feed on blood. If they have a hard time finding animal targets, they may begin to bite humans more often. This may create the illusion that one is bitten more frequently than another.

Why Isn’t Everyone in the House Getting Bitten?

There is no great research on this, so we’re just speculating here. There are several possible explanations for why fleas prefer some people over others. Fleas may be attracted to humans for the following reasons:

  • CO2 is exhaled more by them than by others
  • Fleas are more attracted to them because of their chemical makeup or scent
  • Those who live near animals infested with fleas or flea hotspots are more likely to have them
  • Their feet and ankles are more exposed
  • The heat they emit is greater than that of others

The possibility of fleas communicating has also been suggested. In this case, if you are bitten by one flea, it might transmit the information to nearby fleas. Multiple fleas may attack one particular person, while others remain unaffected by this.

How to Avoid Flea Bites

1. Change Up Your Routine and Products!

To see if it causes any difference, try changing the shampoo you use, changing the deodorant or skin cream, and checking for a change.

These might just be attracting the fleas to you.

2. Make Your Skin Repellent by Applying Natural Repellent Oils

Essential oils have natural repellent properties against fleas. Some essential oils smell great and help you have healthier skin, making them an ideal thing to use. Oils such as lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, cedarwood, clove, and rose geranium are ideal. 

3. Keep the House Cleaner

As fleas prefer to hide in thick carpets and high grass, frequent cleaning helps eliminate this problem. 

In addition to being clingy, fleas can resist the suction of standard home vacuum cleaners. If you’ve got fleas, rent a more powerful steam cleaner for your carpets, and be sure to tell the company you’re vacuuming up fleas with it.

4. Make Sure Your Pets Are Treated for Fleas

Keeping your pets flea-free is the best way to avoid flea bites.

Fleas tend to be more prevalent during the warmer months, but they can live indoors all year round in the presence of food to feed on. Regular flea medication use on your pets (not just during spring and summer) helps kill adult fleas and prevents them from hatching.

Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are available for treating fleas. Oral or topical applications are also available. Consult your vet about the best type for the dog or cat. You can remove fleas by washing your dog in warm soapy water and brushing it with a flea comb.

Medicated washes are available, as well.

5. Using Vinegar as a Repellent

Vinegar repels fleas, making it an excellent natural flea repellent. You can add vinegar to your pet’s water, but don’t add huge amounts! If you use a small amount, you can protect them from fleas without doing any harm.

Are Flea Bites Serious?

The itching and pain caused by flea bites can be severe, causing further skin damage and inviting further bacterial infections.

Back in Ye Olden Days, flea bites could be fatal (it’s possible fleas killed more than half of Europe during the black plague! But nowadays, they’re mostly just an annoyance for humans, with a chance for allergic reactions from the bites that cause red, swollen, itchy, and infected wounds. 

Consistent fleas can cause significant trouble for pets, though.


Hopefully, you now have a brief understanding of why some fleas might bite you and not others.   It might be a coincidence that you seem to be getting bitten more than others, or you might have that certain scent.

If you suffer more flea bites than others, apply the remedies above. Protect yourself and your home from fleas.